Adam Raga turned the formbook on its head on the second day of competition at TrialGP France, the opening round of the 2020 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship, held high in the Alps at the Isola 2000 ski resort.
Raga – World Champion in 2005 and 2006 – bounced back from his fourth-placed finish on Saturday to inflict the first defeat on defending champion Toni Bou since June 2018. Bou, a comfortable winner on Saturday, slipped to third on Sunday in the premier TrialGP class behind 22-year-old Jaime Busto as Spanish riders once again filled the podium steps.
The revised sections were a lot harder at round two across all classes but still comprised big rocks on an imposing hillside with loose ground in between meaning grip was at a premium.
The deciding hazard in TrialGP was section six which featured two huge steps where Bou – who appeared to be riding with an injured forearm – added three maximums to his final score of 41 compared to Raga’s 1-0-1 scores on his way to a total of 33. Busto also excelled here, overcoming a five on the opening lap to record a clean and a two as he finished the day on 40 marks lost.
Spain’s Jeroni Fajardo led after the first two laps but any hopes he had of repeating his round wins in 2009 and 2018 evaporated as Raga carded a sensational final-lap total of just three and the Sherco rider ended the day in fourth on 44, three ahead of Jorge Casales who matched his day-one finish.
“Today was fantastic and I’m very happy,” said Raga. “It was difficult at the beginning of yesterday for me but we worked a little bit with the bike and today I felt very good. It’s always very difficult to beat Toni and also the other riders are very strong but I’m looking forward to keeping going and have a lot of motivation.”
Bou was disappointed with the result, “t was a very difficult day, continuing with yesterday’s physical discomfort and the pain in my back that caused cramp in my right arm,” the reigning World Champion said. “I was not happy for most of the day and it was quite hard. I think the balance of the weekend is positive considering the condition that I found myself in. It will be a very difficult championship for us as the trials are very close together. Even so, we will fight to be at our best for the next one.”
The 2020 Hertz FIM Trial World Championship resumes next weekend with TrialGP Spain at Pobladura de las Regueras in the North West of the country.